How GDPR & Data Protection Act Affect the Marketing Industry

How GDPR & Data Protection Act Affect the Marketing Industry

How GDPR & Data Protection Act Affect the Marketing Industry

Data that is commonly stored by companies including customer details, emails, loyalty schemes, transactions, data collection and bank details needs to be protected.

The main aim of GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 is to prevent the misuse of data by third parties for fraud, such as phishing scams and identity theft.

Having customer data in the digital form, and storing it in the cloud, has become the norm. At the same time, data theft and data breaches, and issues related to privacy have drastically increased.

What is GDPR?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an attempt to regulate the source of information and legalise the flow of information based on the prospect or customer’s permission. GDPR is a regulation that defines how organisations need to protect the personal data of EU citizens. It is applicable to all organisations that handle personal data of EU citizens regardless of where the organisation is geographically located. 

What is the Data Protection Act 2018?

The Data Protection Act 2018 is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament, which updates data protection laws in the UK. It is a national law, which complements the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation and replaces the Data Protection Act 1998.

What Does Regulation Mean For Marketers and Sellers?

If your idea of prospect reach-out was sending a lot of emails, cold calls or anything that intrudes a prospect’s experience – then GDPR is going to affect you badly. Having poor-quality customer data could become a major issue for many businesses.

Rightly so! If you are going to have wrong information or decayed data about a prospect, your marketing attempts are not only going to fail but create a bad experience about your brand/product in the mind of your prospect.

Now, as part of the GDPR act, companies found to be using inaccurate customer data without a legal basis, such as explicit consent, could face a fine of up to 4% of global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater.

Therefore, from a customer experience (CX) standpoint – it is an absolute welcome regulation. So, purchasing a contact list without a prospect’s consent is no more an arrow in your quiver.

Why GDPR & Data Protection Represent an Immense Opportunity for Marketers and Sellers?

If you can stop looking at this as a problem, you’ll see that there is an immense opportunity for marketers and salespeople to build quality relationships and engagement, and more importantly an opportunity to improve the quality of data you work on.

A good place to start is to have a Data Stewardship program. Data stewardship refers to managing and overseeing organisation-wide data assets and ensuring consistent availability and accessibility of high-quality data. It is mission critical because it controls the data quality and its flow across the organisation.

Leverage data stewardship programs to not only continuously enrich data but to personalise and hyper-personalise customer communications and build meaningful relationships. According to the RMDS research, 61 percent of marketers consider enhancing customer information with contextual intent data, useful for nurturing customer relationships.

This tells you that quality data alone is not enough. You need to be able to contextualise customer data using B2B sales intelligence tools such as Fiind, to get contextual information on prospect intent and why they would be a good fit for your product. With this information, you can have conversations relevant to your customer and prospects.

Customer Experience is the Only and Ultimate Differentiator

GDPR helps marketers more than customers if you look closely. For instance, if you take a neuromarketing outlook, especially with David Rock’s SCARF model – you will know that “F” stands for “fairness”. A customer’s mind always seeks a fair deal or fair treatment. Even if they are donating for a noble cause, they need to know if the money is used fairly.

Now, look at the article 5 of the GDPR from that perspective. It says that personal data shall be “processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner”, and sets out how companies need to let customers know what they are doing in a concise, transparent and unambiguous way.

So, if you want to live and breathe CX, embrace GDPR and get your organisation ready for it powered by data stewardship and artificial intelligence

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Yaagneshwaran Ganesh

Tech Expert

Yaagneshwaran Ganesh (often called as "Yaag") is among the top 100 global martech influencers, and is responsible for the growth and product adoption for Freshchat, a customer engagement platform powering live chats and conversational marketing across industries. He is also a TEDx speaker, a member of Forbes Council and author of 5 books, with the latest one titled “Syncfluence”. He has been a speaker across business forums such as CII Young Indians, Chamber of Commerce Netherlands, Kerala Startup Mission (Initiative by Govt of Kerala), and academic institutions such as IITs, Saxion University of Applied Sciences and more. He is an active member of the startup ecosystem and is part of the Google for Entrepreneurs initiative "Startup Weekend", thus being a sounding board for startups in APAC and Europe. Yaag also writes columns for HuffingtonPost, Forbes, Martech Series, Martech Advisor, dtNEXT, Techstory, ManagementNext and has been a regular blogger on, the thought leader on marketing practices.

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